April 27, 2015

Two Foodborne Botulism Outbreaks in One Month

Clostridium botulinum

Foodborne botulism is rare, but this month two outbreaks have been reported, one in New Mexico and one in Ohio. In New Mexico, two people were sickened and hospitalized in Texas. In Ohio, at least 19 people who ate at a church potluck were sickened and one of them died. Patients in that outbreak are being treated at the Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio. Health officials have not yet determined the food source for either outbreak. In Ohio, the list of possible suspects includes 20 items. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness, descending paralysis, difficulty … [Read more...]

Update on Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church Botulism Outbreak

Clostridium botulinum

Fairfield Medical Center has updated information on the botulism outbreak linked to the Cross Point Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, Ohio. There are 18 suspected cases, including the death of a 54-year-old woman. None of these cases have been confirmed through laboratory testing. Twenty-one more people have sought treatment at area hospitals as a precaution. All of those affected attended a potluck at the church on Sunday, April 19, 2015. About 60 people were in attendance. If you attended that event, go to an emergency room for questions and a health evaluation. The longer treatment is delayed, the more serious the resulting illness will be. The hospital made arrangements with the Centers for Discase Controla nd Prevention (CDC) to obtain botulism anti-toxin. The medicine … [Read more...]

Ohio Church Potluck Botulism Has Now Sickened 24

Clostridium botulism

The outbreak of botulism linked to a potluck dinner served at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, Ohio has now sickened at least 24 people. One person, a 54-year-old woman, has died, and all patients have been hospitalized. Still others are under observation. Three people are in critical condition, according to Fairfield Medical Center. The hospital has activated its Incident Command Center. More patients are being treated at other hospitals in the area. About 60 people were in attendance at the event, including some children.  Dr. Andrew Murry of Fairfield Medical Center said, "we are encouraging everyone who attended the potluck to report to the emergency room or their nearest medical facility for questions and also to seek an evaluation for further medical … [Read more...]

Botulism After OH Church Potluck Kills 1, Sickens 20

Clostridium botulinum

A botulism outbreak has sickened 20 people and killed one person after those people attended a church potluck in Ohio. All of the patients who were brought to the Fairfield Medical Center Emergency Department in Lancaster, Ohio attended a potluck on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster. Five people are in the Intensive Care Unit, and ten were transported to hospitals in Columbus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sending anti-toxin to the hospitals in the area. Some of the patients are on ventilators. Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce a toxin that paralyzes nerves. The bacteria grows in anaerobic environments (without oxygen) and can be present in improperly canned low-acid foods such as canned green beans or … [Read more...]

Uneviscerated Dried Fish Sold in NY Risk of Botulism

Dry Fish Recalled Botulism

The New York Department of Agriculture is warning consumers to not eat "Dry Bream-Lesh (Fish)" sold by Tatuka Inc. of Brooklyn, New York because it was not eviscerated. Fish that do not have their guts removed may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can be deadly. No illnesses have been reported to date. The fish was sold from retail stores to consumers in the New York City metro area. It is packaged in a clear, vacuum-packed, flexible plastic pouch and is sold in the refrigerated foods department. The product has a "Best before" date of 01:08:2015. It is a product of Russia. Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the guts, or viscera, of fish than any other place. Symptoms of botulism poisoning include blurred or double vision, poor … [Read more...]

Botulism Outbreak Sickens Two From Lea County NM


Two people from Lea County, NM have been hospitalized in Texas with botulism, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Officials have not yet determined the source of the outbreak but they believe it is contaminated food. Botulism causes illness and paralysis and can be fatal. It is caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is found in soil and dust. Symptoms include: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, muscle weakness, decending paralysis, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. If untreated, death can occur if the paralysis reaches the respiratory muscles. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor. There are three kinds of botulism: foodborne, wound and … [Read more...]

Schmaltz Herring Recalled in Canada for Botulism

Elite Salads Schmaltz Herring Botulism Recall

The recall of Elite Salads International schmaltz herring products in February 2015 for Clostridium botulinum bacteria has been updated to include more product information. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the consumption of these products. The recalled products are Elite Salads Schmaltz Herring in 200 gram containers, with all codes up to and including Best Before May 8, 2015 and UPC number 7 77739 10035 5; and all codes up to and including 15MA08, with no UPC number. Also recalled is Schmaltz Herring in 454 gram containers, with all codes up to and including 15MA08 and no UPC number. Elite Salads Spicy Schmaltz Herring is also recalled. The 200 gram size has all codes up to and including Best Before May 8, 2015 and UPC number 7 77739 10005 8; and all codes … [Read more...]

Double Smoked Herring Recalled for Possible Botulism


Moscahlades Brothers of New Jersey is recalling Hellas Golden Double Smoked Herring because it may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can cause a life threatening illness. The product was not eviscerated. Do not eat this product even if it doesn't look or smell spoiled. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled item is Hellas Golden Double Smoked Herring. It is in a vacuum pack clear plastic packaging with a white label. The brand names is HELLAS from KARAGOUNIS BROS SA, imported by MOSCAHLADES BROS INC. The lot numbers are L180314F33 with production date 18/3/14, Best Before 18/3/15, shipped March 2014; and L14104F33 with production date 14/10/2014, Best Before 14/10/2015, and shipped October 2014. They were sold in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, … [Read more...]

Botulism in Seal Oil Sickens at Least 25 in Alaska

Clostridium botulism

According to Public Radio for Alaska's Bristol Bay (KDLG), a botulism outbreak linked to a batch of contaminated seal oil has sickened more than 25 people. The seal oil was made in the village of Twin Hills. Several people have been hospitalized in this outbreak because they can't breathe on their own. The first botulism illnesses were reported December 19, 2014 when two people has to be flown from Quinhagak to Bethel for medical care. They were then medevaced to Anchorage on respiratory support. One child has been sickened in this outbreak. Those sickened live in Quinhagak, Twin Hills, and Dillingham. Several people are being monitored by public health officials. Dr. Michael Cooper, the Infectious Disease Program Manager at the State Department of Epidemiology told KDLG, "This is a … [Read more...]

Bacteria, Unsanitary Conditions Prompt FDA to Halt Production at Neptune Manufacturing


An eight-year track record of food safety violations including positive tests for Listeria and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria which causes botulism,  has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to halt production at Neptune Manufacturing, Inc.  a producer of smoked and pickled seafood products in Los Angeles. Since 2006, the FDA has conducted seven inspections of the facility. Each time, investigators found unsanitary conditions. On four occasions, they found Listeria, and on three visits found "a failure to control for Clostridium botulinum." “When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, … [Read more...]

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